America for Sale—Literally

Preservation schmeservation. We need cash for the empire!

The Bush administration Friday laid out plans to sell off more than $1 billion in public land during the next decade, including 85,000 acres of National Forest property in California.

Most of the proceeds would help pay for rural schools and roads, making up for a federal subsidy that has been eliminated from President Bush's 2007 budget.
The beast is getting hungry—the inevitable consequence when you endeavor to starve it.

"This is a fire sale of public lands. It is utterly unprecedented," said Char Miller, professor of environmental history at Trinity University in San Antonio, who has written extensively about the Forest Service. "It signals that the lands and the agency that manages them are in deep trouble."

The U.S. Forest Service has earmarked more than 300,000 acres for sale in 32 states.

In a companion proposal inserted into this week's massive 2007 budget, White House officials directed the U.S. Bureau of Land Management officials to sell off at least $350 million worth of public land, with the funds to go directly to the general treasury.
The proposed sale would be the largest of its kind in the century since President Theodore Roosevelt—who actually paid attention to the root of the word “conservative”—established the U.S. Forest Service.

The public has 30 days to contest “after maps of the acreage proposed for sale are published, which the agency expects to do by the end of the month.” I question whether enough of “the public” will even hear about this crackpot plan for their collective complaint to register as more than a mere blip on the radars of those who care little to hear dissenting opinions in the first place.

(Hat tip to Tata at Blanton’s and Ashton’s, and Fix, who pointed me there.)

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